Saturday, December 3, 2011


The greenhouses are gone now and

I see many new buildings, but the shed

next to his parents’ house still stands.

Boards are busted, some rotten, all of

them have changed to shades of gray.

A flickering shop light was always on and

there never was a door to you could close.

For years, an engine block caked in oil sat

in the corner. Pick axes, tractor tires, hoses,

disc plates, pipe fittings, welding tanks, boxes

of fertilizer mix, buckets of bolts, nuts, screws,

and nails littered the shed’s grease stained floor.

He told me many times about the move back

to Tennessee with flat bed trucks loaded down

by rhododendrons, nursery supplies, azaleas.

He’d talk about that first season of farming,

fifty acres and a mule, and how at the end of

harvest- the mule died. Then he’d laugh loudly.

The tomatoes were packed by hand, wrapped

in newspapers. They thought about quitting.

I asked if they’d ever knock down the old shed

and he said he couldn’t do that, because we

all need to be reminded of how we got started.

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